Couple charged with unlawfully selling Louisiana box turtles in New Orleans

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Coastal Wildlife Network (CWN)
Cold-stunned Sea Turtle Rescue
November 2020

NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that Vincent Felix Rivere and Megan Lynn Shoemaker were charged with selling Louisiana box turtles on July 13, 2017. The 47-year-old and 35-year-old were former residents of Springfield, Louisiana, who were charged in violation of the Lacey Act on December 30.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wilslife Services Website, “Under the Lacey Act, it is unlawful to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold: 1) in violation of U.S. or Indian law, or 2) in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken possessed or sold in violation of State or foreign law.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “if convicted, they face a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than five years, not more than three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000.00, and a: mandatory special assessment of $100.00. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Jon Maestri is in charge of the prosecution.

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